Gaolathe alarmed at performance data blackout

SHARE   |   Thursday, 16 February 2017   |   By Staff Writer
Gaolathe alarmed at performance data blackout

The MP for Bonnington South Ndaba Gaolathe has attacked the minister of Finance for failing to account for performance of programmes and projects that Government is undertaking in his 2017/18 budget speech. “For a Government that has invested so much on plans to drive new engines of economic activity by way of creating clusters (diamond, tourism/agriculture and financial/services) there is cause for alarm in both the Budget’s attitude to providing performance information on these clusters and on the budgetary allocations to the areas that would best represent the realisation of these policies.  In fact there should be alarm that this Budget makes no effort to provide performance information or feedback on major projects and programmes, even if it’s on a few key areas that represent our core objectives as a nation. There is no performance information on whether our plans to improve our education system are working.  There is no performance information to shed light on whether the quality of our health care system is improving or ailing. There is no performance data to show if there has been value for money in the procurement choices our Government made on the construction of major roads, or dams or buildings – and therefore there is no telling if we have wasted billions of Pulas or not.  This means the Government of Botswana’s Budget system lacks the transparency to establish with some concreteness just how effective or efficient our public expenditure system is nor can we readily determine the extent of how Government spends wisely on goods and services (value for money).  In fact, the Auditor General’s office lacks the budget to consistently conduct the vital value for money audits on major Government expenditure programmes and projects. Those with the expertise and the access to forage information in the Government system reveal or estimate that our country loses billions of Pula to wastage, poor management or negligence, let alone subtle and clear-cut corruption. “As a result of this opaqueness in accounting for our public expenditure, there is evidence of shifting goal-posts in our previous Budget speeches where plans were announced to commence or complete, only to be told that those plans never actually ever got off the ground.  Among examples is the transport integration system to manage traffic congestion.”



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